Nenê sinks Sevilla!
Nenê pounced for the only goal of the game as PSG notched an upset 1-0 win away to Sevilla while Lille suffered their first defeat of the season 2-1 at home to Sporting Lisbon as the Europa League group phase kicked off on Thursday night.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
UEFA Europa League, Matchday 1
Sevilla - Paris Saint-Germain: 0-1
After trouncing Arles-Avignon 4-0 at the weekend, Paris confirmed their return to form with a solid and tenacious display that and netted them a deserved 1-0 win in their Europa League opener in Spain.
Brazilian winger Nenê proved he was worth every bit of the €5.5 million PSG paid for him in the summer as he menaced the home defence, going close as he lobbed Andrés Palop (25’) before making the break in the 76th minute when his fierce shot ballooned off a Sevilla defender, over Palop and into the goal.
Showing no signs of the defensive frailties that plagued them just weeks ago, Antoine Kombouaré’s men not only muzzled the potent Sevilla strike force of Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanouté, but created the better chances of the first half through Clément Chantôme (26’), Mevlut Erding (32’, 42’, 64’) and Jean-Eudes Maurice (38’).
Despite the absence of big-name players like Claude Makelele, Guillaume Hoarau and Mathieu Bodmer, PSG were fearless - but not reckless - as they took the game to their stunned hosts, earning a deserved win to get their Europa League campaign off to the best possible start.
The win takes PSG to second spot in Group J alongside Borussia Dortmund, trailing the German side, who beat PSG next opponents Karpaty Lviv 4-3, on goals scored.
Lille - Sporting Lisbon: 1-2
It was a case of too little too late as Lille fought a tough second-half battle to try to reduce a two-goal deficit after Sporting had taken an early lead through Simon Vukcevic (11’) and then hammered home their advantage with a second strike through Helder Postiga (34’).
Without the likes of Aurélien Chedjou and Franck Béria in defence, Lille were shaky at the back and spent most of the first term in their own half, bearing little resemblance to the side that trounced Lens 4-1 in the Northern derby at the weekend.
While the introduction of Emerson in place of youngster Jerry Vandam at left-back helped to steady the ship in defence, it was the entry into play of Hazard that brought back the attacking flair as Lille fought back in the second half.
The Belgian international made the most of his entry into play just before half time, combining well with Gervinho to set up Pierre Alain Frau to pull one back just shy of the hour mark.
But the equaliser proved elusive, Gervinho seeing his headed effort ruled out for off-side (63’) and Ludovic Obraniak hitting the base of the post with a first-time shot (77’) as Sporting held out to hand Lille their first defeat of the season in all competitions.
Rudi Garcia will need to find a better way to juggle Lille's league and European commitments if his side are to get off the mark in Group C when they travel to Belgian side Gent in a fortnight's time.